Oncidium Orchids – Do You Know How To Avoid These 8 Dangers With Oncidiums?

Oncidium Orchid CareOncidium orchids are one of the most diverse and oldest types of orchids in the world. They were once described as difficult and temperamental. Nowadays, they have been cultivated anywhere where the temperature is moderate and cool. They are actually easy to grow (if you know what to do) and produce flowers that are very colorful and fragrant.

These types of orchids mostly bloom once a year with colors ranging from white to dark red. Their flowers are sometimes described as butterfly look-a-likes or dancing ladies. If you wish to grow healthy oncidium orchids, here are the 8 dangers to avoid when growing them:

Giving them too much light. Oncidiums are a particularly tricky type of orchids when it comes to light requirements. Generally they need direct sunlight for several hours when they are starting to grow and flower.

Once the flowers arrive, you should move your oncidium to a cooler place where there is no direct sunlight to burn its blooms. The oncidium hybrids, though, are different. They require filtered light to develop and thrive.

Overwatering. Overwatering and under-watering are common mistakes when it comes to any orchids. While oncidiums have quite different water requirements during their different stages of growth, they should never be overwatered.

Here is the general rule of thumb you should follow to water your plant correctly. When they are starting to grow and beginning to blossom, provide lots of water. After they flower, provide less.

Their roots love water but you must provide adequate drainage or the roots will drown and die. If you see the top compost is already dry, then it is a sign that it needs to be watered again.

Placing them in one area for the rest of the year. Leaving these types of plants in just one location all throughout the year is not advisable. During summer they can be placed outdoors to soak in adequate sunlight and during winters they must be kept in places such as greenhouses or orchid cases.

They thrive best in places where the temperature is between 80°F -85°F during the day and 55°F-60° F at night.

Not providing necessary humidity levels.When it comes to humidity levels, oncidiums need 40%-50%. When it’s hot, be sure to increase it by misting or by creating a bed of pebbles with water on a tray below the plant. The ideal humidity level for these types of plants is between 55%-75%.

Using the wrong potting medium. Choosing the wrong potting medium can be detrimental to the growth of your oncidiums. These types of orchids, when grown in cultivation or even in the wild for that matter, are quite insatiable when it comes to food. Although they can survive and thrive when grown in leafmold compost, you should still use the best medium for epiphytes, which is osmunda.

Osmunda is great for plants with very thin root systems, as most oncidiums have. Its fibers are great for providing adequate drainage for the orchid. If feasible, put as little compost as possible. It doesn’t need a lot or the plant will drown in its medium.

Place the medium around the roots of the plant and don’t force it all in. Leave it loose so that air can circulate through it. You can build a layer of rock at the bottom of the pot or a thin layer of gravel at the top of the compost for extra support.

Potting them incorrectly. When it comes to pots, it is never wise to get a large one for oncidiums. These plants are the types of orchids that do well in small, confined pots. Actually the smaller the size of the pot, the better. Large pots or containers leave the compost moist and overly damp. This is not good for the roots because it will easily cause them to rot.

Over-fertilizing. Because oncidiums are unquenchable when it comes to plant food, it is suggested to give them regular fertilization or they’ll be unhealthy. Feed them once a month with either liquid fertilizer or ground manure once a month and they will be fine. Be sure to wash off any salt deposits after each month to avoid burning their roots.

Repotting. Incessant and untimely repotting can kill any orchid. But because these types of orchids have very thin and short roots, repotting them can be a delicate job. Repot them every two years or so, and yours will be happy. Be sure to provide enough water after repotting to ensure the growth of its roots.

And to discover even more about the most popular orchids and their care, please read this special site we posted up for you.

Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Sherry says:

    I have an Oncidium orchid that I’ve had for several years and have repotted once. It now has a new growth with roots about 8″ from the base of the plant. This new growth has produced flowers that are now withered and I feel that I should somehow take this new growth off and pot it in another pot. The roots of the new growth are white and exposed to the air continually. Any suggestions?

  2. Joseph Rangel says:

    very interesting reading,I am in a fix in what to purchase,should I go in for indenting for orchid care or the individual books on sayPhalenopsis/Catleyas/dendrobiums etc.rangel

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Joseph – thank you for your comment. 🙂 That’s up to you. Just so you are aware we do have several pocket guides available on Amazon. Here’s the link for the Phalaenopsis Guide. I hope this is helpful. 🙂 – Mary Ann

  3. Shu says:

    Hi, I have an oncidium orchid and I recently repotted it in a bark mixed with miracle pro orchid mixture. I notices there are abit of fuzzy hair at the root surface. Is that normal? Or it is a sign that it is rotting? or infestation?


    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Shu,

      Thanks so much for your email. It sounds like there could be something wrong. Unless there are fuzzy things in the potting mix (check the bag), it sounds like it could be a problem. It’s hard to tell you exactly what’s going on, but definitely check on that. – Mary Ann

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